Oct. 13, 2020
Wyoming's Solar Future Needs Your Help
By Creative Energies Solar
A year after massive public input helped save Wyoming’s net metering, lawmakers could once again be endangering our state's solar future.
The Legislature Joint Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Committee will be discussing net metering on Wednesday, November 11th. We anticipate the introduction of a last-minute bill aiming to weaken the state law that guarantees residents full credit for renewable energy that is fed back to the grid. This would be devastating to homeowners, small businesses, and the growing solar industry in Wyoming.
Rooftop solar for homes and businesses is a proven and cost-effective strategy to create a cleaner electric power supply for everyone. This bill, if enacted, would put the brakes on this growing field, just when Wyoming most needs the jobs and the economic investment it offers.
We encourage you to contact the Committee members (below) and your legislators (even if they are not members of the Committee) to share why you value solar energy, why you want to keep net metering, and what you want for Wyoming's future. Your personal story makes a difference. It's also important for lawmakers to hear from people who do not have solar but see its value to all utility customers, our state, and the environment - so spread the word to friends.
With 20 years of renewable energy installations in Wyoming, Creative Energies is invested in our state. We employ 15 Wyomingites and recently expanded our services in Southeast Wyoming by opening an office in Laramie. We want our business's success to continue benefiting our state. We're working closely with advocacy partners to educate policymakers and ensure the best energy options for you.
What is Net Metering and How Does It Benefit Wyomingites?
Net metering allows owners of a solar energy system to exchange extra energy supplied to the grid for credit to cover the cost of future electricity needs from the utility provider.
Net metering allows utility customers to generate their own electricity cleanly and efficiently. For example, during the day when solar homeowners produce more electricity than they consume; net metering allows them to export that power to the grid and reduce their future electric bills.
Net metering provides incentives for economic growth and job creation. The Wyoming rooftop solar industry is a growing sector that's helping diversify our state's economy.
Net metering helps protect the electric grid by encouraging generation near the point of consumption. It reduces the strain on distribution systems and prevents losses in long-distance electricity transmission and distribution.
Currently, Wyoming law only allows small systems, 25 kilowatts or less, to be eligible for net metering credit. The legislation under consideration is likely to legacy in existing net-metered solar, but the terms could negatively affect expected financial returns for homeowners and small businesses.
Why Solar is Important to Wyoming's Future?
Solar is one of the fastest-growing industries and job markets in the United States. The budding solar industry in Wyoming could be an economic engine.
Solar can diversify Wyoming's economy. The coal industry is on the decline, while the solar industry continues to grow.
Solar can help Wyomingites make a living.
"Wyoming has room to grow the rooftop solar industry without harming other ratepayers. Wyoming ranks 43rd in the country for solar jobs per capita, yet has the 8th best solar resource in the nation. The Department of Energy, Association of Utility Commissioners, and others find that net metering does not affect other ratepayers until a 5–10% market impact. Wyoming is only at 0.04%!" - Wyoming Outdoor Council, 2019
Solar provides cost benefits to other utility ratepayers in avoided energy needs, avoided distribution losses, and avoided costs for transmission.
Rooftop solar creates grid resilience and flexibility.
Solar offers consumers choices. Energy competition in Wyoming is good for the economy.
Wyomingites should have reasonable and affordable access to independent clean energy.
What's in the interest of utility companies isn't always in the best interest of Wyoming residents.
Air pollution and climate change threaten Wyoming, all while Wyomingites bear the burden of these costs, not the utility companies.
Solar is a renewable energy source in Wyoming. Wyoming will never run out of solar energy.
Solar is one of the best tools available to us to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the production of greenhouse gases for energy generation.
Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee Members
Senate Corporations Chairman Bill Landen - firstname.lastname@example.org
House Corporations Chairman Tyler Lindholm - email@example.com
Senator Cale Case - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Tara Nethercott - email@example.com
Senator Wendy Schuler - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Charlie Scott - email@example.com
Representative Jim Blackburn - firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Aaron Clausen - email@example.com
Representative Scott Clem - firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Andi Clifford - email@example.com
Representative Shelly Duncan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Roy Edwards - email@example.com
Representative Danny Eyre - firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Dan Furphy - email@example.com
Questions about solar in Wyoming? Our team can help. Contact us at 307.332.3410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.